A good headset can make a big difference when playing games. Whether you like to get immersed in the game with the music of sound effects or if you need to hear every enemy footstep to know where they are, choosing the right pair of headphones for you can be quite a task. You should look at overall build quality, how comfortable they are, how they sound, and if the microphone sounds good. If you don’t need a microphone, most wired audiophile headphones would be a good option.
We've tested over 620 headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets to buy. Also, see our recommendations for the best PS4 headsets, the best Xbox One headsets, the best PS5 headsets, and the best Xbox Series X/S headsets.
The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 is the best gaming headset that we've tested. Thanks to their wireless transmitter base station, these headphones have very low non-Bluetooth latency, ensuring that your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming. They also last over 17 hours continuously, which should last through long gaming marathons without pausing to recharge them up again.
These very well-built headphones have a comfortable fit with deep, spacious ear cups and soft padding. Out of the box, their well-balanced sound profile delivers a touch of extra boom which can help bring out the intensity of sound effects in gameplay. If you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers a graphic EQ that you can use to create custom presets. You can then access these presets via the EQ button on the right ear cup. Their boom mic also does an excellent job recording your voice, ensuring you sound clear and natural, even in noisy environments.
Unfortunately, the base station is console-locked for either the Xbox or PlayStation, and you need to purchase an adapter for the PS5 separately. Some users have also reported that sound quality has dropped when connecting to a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S console. Luckily, if you're a PC gamer, you should have no problem using either variant, which is great if you're looking for the best PC gaming headset we've tested.
If you're looking for headphones with even better build quality, check out the Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset. While their sound profile isn't as neutral out-of-the-box as the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019, the Logitech have a very durable design with aluminum forks and a reinforced headband. These very comfortable headphones also come with one set of leatherette ear pads and another set wrapped in cloth, so you can find a fit that suits you best. In terms of sound, they give extra punch and boom to your mixes while vocals and lead instruments are bright. If you prefer something different, their companion software has a graphic EQ plus presets so you can adjust their sound. They also have a detachable boom mic, which does a great job recording your voice, and can separate speech from moderate ambient noise around you. Their continuous battery life of just under 24 hours should be more than enough for long gaming marathons too. Unfortunately, they're prone to deviations in audio delivery, and you may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or glasses.
Go for the Astro if you're looking for wireless headphones with a more neutral default sound profile and an even better overall mic performance. However, if you're looking for more sturdy and premium gaming headphones, try the Logitech instead.
The Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019 is the best wired gaming headset that we've tested. You can purchase these headphones in either a PS4 or Xbox One variant; it's important to get the right variant for your console. They also come with a MixAmp, which offers controls like channel mixing, EQ presets, and volume as you game. It offers a few inputs, and you can daisy-chain several amps together if you're at a gaming tournament.
They have a comfortable fit with soft padding and feel well-built. Their ear cups have swappable speaker tags, and you can purchase different styles from the manufacturer to give the headphones a different look. Thanks to their open-back design, they have a great passive soundstage to help immerse you in your audio. They also have a warm default sound profile that can help bring out sound effects in your gameplay. Their detachable boom mic does a great job of recording your voice and can separate it from background noise so that you're heard clearly.
Unfortunately, they leak a lot of audio due to their open-back design, and others around you can hear it, even in a moderately noisy environment. They don't block out much background noise. If you plan to game in quieter spaces like at home, these are a suitable choice for users who prefer a wired design.
If you're looking for more affordable wired gaming headphones, take a look at the Logitech G433 Gaming Headset. While they don't feel as comfortable or well-built as the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2019, the Logitech have a less gamer-centric look at a more wallet-friendly price. While they have a fairly neutral default sound profile out of the box, you can adjust them to your liking using the companion software's graphic EQ or presets. Their detachable boom mic also captures your voice clearly, and you should have no issue being understood if you're talking in a loud or noisy environment. Since they have a closed-back design, they can block out a bit more mid-range noise like ambient chatter than the Astro. However, they still struggle to reduce sounds like the rumble of car engines outside your window and leak audio at high volumes.
Try the Astro if you prioritize comfort and more durable build quality from your gaming headphones. However, consider the Logitech if you're looking for less expensive headphones with a closed-back design.
The best gaming headset for Xbox Series X that we've tested is the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless. They have Xbox Wireless Technology built-in and offer a low latency gaming experience on Xbox Series X|S. They support Bluetooth, which is nice if you want to stream audio from another device like a smartphone while you're still connected to your console.
These well-built over-ears have a comfortable fit and have roughly 28 hours of continuous playback time, making them suitable for long gaming marathons. They have a neutral and well-balanced sound profile that's suitable for a variety of audio content too. Although they're lacking low-bass out of the box, their companion software has a graphic EQ and presets so you can adjust their sound to your liking. Their retractable boom mic also has a great recording quality, and whoever you're talking to should have no problems understanding you, even if you're speaking in a noisy environment.
Unfortunately, some users have reported that their units disconnect on their own, which could be caused by minor interference. They're also prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery, so you may need to adjust them on your head each time you wear them. That said, if you're a gamer looking for dedicated Xbox headphones, they offer versatile overall performance and a low-latency wireless design.
If you're looking for even lower latency on Xbox consoles, take a look at the Razer Kaira Pro Wireless instead. While their continuous battery life is shorter than the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless, the Razer have lower audio lag via Xbox Wireless, which is excellent if you like to game with others online. These comfortable and well-built headphones have a warm and somewhat uneven sound profile that delivers intense thump and punch to your audio. Luckily, you can customize their sound profile to your liking using their companion software's graphic EQ and presets. Their detachable boom mic also ensures that your voice sounds clear and natural, even in loud environments like a gaming tournament. They have over 19 hours of continuous playback time and have an auto-off timer to help you conserve battery life when you're not using them. Unfortunately, like the SteelSeries, they're very prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, so it's important you take the time to adjust their fit, seal, and positioning each time you use them to achieve a more consistent sound.
Consider the SteelSeries if you're looking for headphones with a longer continuous battery life or that support an analog connection. If you prioritize low latency when gaming, try the Razer instead.
The best budget gaming headset that we've tested is the Logitech G432 Gaming Headset. While these gaming headphones have a simple physical design, they offer a customizable gaming experience at a wallet-friendly price. Since they're wired, they're fully compatible with consoles that have an AUX port, but they also come with a USB adapter that you can use to game on PCs or PS4 consoles.
Out of the box, these headphones lack a bit of low-bass but have a very neutral mid-range that helps keep dialogue clear, present, and detailed. Luckily, if you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers a 10-band graphic EQ as well as presets so that you can tweak their sound to better suit your needs. Their boom microphone also does an excellent job of recording your voice. It can also separate speech from background noise, so your teammates hear you clearly, even in loud environments.
Unfortunately, their build quality is just okay. However, they still feel very plasticky, and their joints don't feel very sturdy. Like many other gaming headphones, they're also prone to inconsistencies in their audio delivery. Their passive soundstage is perceived as unnatural and as if coming from inside your head rather than from in out in front of you too. That said, if you're looking for wallet-friendly gaming headphones and don't mind their wired design, they're a suitable choice.
Sep 23, 2021: Replaced the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with the Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset as the Logitech have lower latency than the SteelSeries. Added the SteelSeries to Notable Mentions.
Aug 27, 2021: Checked our picks for product availability and accuracy. There hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Jul 29, 2021: Replaced the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 as the 'Best Gaming Headset' since they now offer a better wireless gaming performance due to Test Bench 1.5 updates. Made the SteelSeries the 'Alternative With Bluetooth' to the Astro and moved the Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset to Notable Mentions. Added the Razer Kaira Pro Wireless as the 'Alternative With Lower Latency' to the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless.
Jul 01, 2021: We've checked the text for accuracy and product availability, but there hasn't been a change in our recommendations.
Jun 02, 2021: Replaced the Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset with the Logitech G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED Gaming Headset as the G PRO X WIRELESS LIGHTSPEED offer better value for most users. Also renamed this pick from 'More Customizable Alternative' to 'More Comfortable Alternative'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our headphones reviews, sorted by their wireless gaming performance. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you don't care about having a microphone or wireless features.